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The VR Marketing Oasis of the Future

By July 25, 2023July 26th, 2023Education, News & Updates 14 Min Read

AdTech in a Virtual Reality World

The recent unveiling of Apple’s Vision Pro at WWDC 2023 brought to mind a quote by Ernst Cline, the author of Ready Player One, “For a bunch of hairless apes, we’ve actually managed to invent some pretty incredible things.” This sentiment captures the transformative potential of augmented and virtual reality in reshaping our world. From the widespread popularity of Pokemon Go to Snapchat filters, and Beat Saber, this tech has seamlessly integrated itself into various industries. In this blog, we will explore the exciting intersection of AdTech, virtual reality (VR), and the emerging potential of augmented reality (AR) marketing.

Understanding augmented reality and virtual reality

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

AR and VR are both immersive technologies that offer unique experiences to their users. AR overlays digital information or virtual objects onto the real world, enhancing the user’s perception. VR fully immerses users in computer-generated environments, providing a highly immersive experience. These technologies rely on essential components like headsets or smart glasses, motion tracking sensors, and powerful computing devices, to deliver captivating and lifelike experiences.

Augmented reality: Using a smartphone AR app to see information about landmarks when pointing the camera at them, providing an augmented reality experience for users.

Virtual reality: Using the headset and hand controllers to immerse the user into a physically interactive simulated environment.

Now, let’s take a quick look at the different types of VR.

Non-immersive VR

VR is experienced through a screen, providing limited immersion.

Example: Playing a VR game on a computer or mobile device, where you can look around but are not fully present in the virtual space.

Semi-immersive VR

VR is experienced through devices like headsets that partially block the view of the physical world, offering a greater sense of presence. 

Example: Using a VR headset to explore a virtual museum, where you can look around and feel more immersed but can’t interact physically.

Fully immersive VR

VR that completely replaces the user’s perception of the physical world, providing a highly immersive experience. 

Example: Wearing a high-end VR headset to play a realistic driving simulator where you see a virtual car cockpit, hear engine sounds, and feel like you’re actually driving.

Collaborative VR

Multiple users interact and share a virtual environment simultaneously, enabling remote collaboration. 

Example: Participating in a virtual meeting with colleagues from different locations where you can see and communicate with each other as avatars and collaborate on virtual objects.

VR advertising and AR advertising

Virtual and augmented reality has created a world of possibilities, offering marketers and advertisers the ability to engage with audiences through highly unique and captivating experiences. One platform that stands out in this domain is Meta (and its popular subsidiary, Instagram). The social media giant has embraced VR advertising and AR advertising both for its own purposes and as a tool for its business users. In 2022, Meta put out a non-immersive VR billboard in Times Square to promote the release of the Meta Quest 2 headset. In the future, businesses on Instagram Shops that use ModiFace or PerfectCorp technology will be able to offer augmented reality-powered try-ons for clothing, shoes, jewelry, and more

As an advertiser, here’s how you should take advantage of both: 

1. Interactive ads:  Users can directly engage with content, such as virtual try-ons, billboards, sponsored mini-games, or immersive environments. This dynamic interaction can enhance exposure and user engagement, fostering a more memorable advertising experience.

In 2022, Coke released ‘Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte’, a digital softdrink, into the Metaverse. The soda was a promotional item players in the Metaverse could obtain after completing a series of mini-games. Coke later launched the physical product to store shelves for consumers to try in real life. 

2. Product placement: Virtual worlds offer a seamless avenue for advertisers to integrate brands and products through intrinsic product placement. Users may encounter branded items or virtual storefronts showcasing real-world products, amplifying brand recognition and potentially driving purchase intent.

Selfridges, the popular London-based department store, partnered with Fondation Vasarely and Paco Rabanne to launch a VR storefront for consumers. Consumers were able to take a guided tour that showcased its NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) in chronological order, providing valuable insights into their historical significance, artistic aspects, and more.

3. Personalized and targeted advertising: The immersive nature of VR enables advertisers to collect user data and preferences, facilitating the delivery of customized advertisements based on individual interests and behaviors. This level of personalization increases ad relevance, user engagement, and conversion rates (CVR). 

VR marketing and AR marketing

By incorporating VR and AR into marketing campaigns, brands can transport consumers into interactive virtual environments that showcase their values, products, and services. 

This opens up three key opportunities for marketers:

1. Immersive brand experiences: VR enables the creation of unique and interactive environments that go beyond traditional mediums, allowing consumers to engage with brands on a deeper level. Examples include virtual stores, destination tours, and virtual event participation.

DressX, the largest retailer of digital fashion, offers exclusive digital versions of their clothing to consumers to wear in photos and videos. The brand launched an AR app in August of 2021, allowing their customers to try on clothing items and accessories via their smartphone’s camera before making a purchase.

2. Enhanced storytelling: In VR, marketers can craft immersive narratives that actively involve users, evoking emotions and fostering deeper brand connections. By placing users at the center of the experience, VR offers endless storytelling possibilities and creates lasting memories.

In 2021, Nike partnered with Fortnite to create an immersive fan experience where player’s characters could not only wear a new line of Jordan sneakers, but also take part in a digital treasure hunt for branded ‘artifacts’ exclusive to the digital environment.

3. Comprehensive measurement: Integrating VR into marketing campaigns provides the opportunity to measure user behavior, interactions, and engagement. These valuable insights allow marketers to optimize future campaigns, refine storytelling techniques, and make data-driven decisions to maximize the impact of VR marketing initiatives.

Overall, VR marketing and AR marketing offer significant advantages by creating immersive brand experiences, leveraging enhanced storytelling, and enabling comprehensive measurement. It goes beyond traditional mediums, providing a powerful platform for marketers to engage audiences and achieve their marketing goals.

Current limitations

Despite the exciting opportunities presented by both technologies, there are challenges to overcome. Issues concerning the user experience like comfort, nausea, accessibility, and cost, need to be addressed to ensure widespread adoption and acceptance. Addressing these concerns is essential to ensure widespread adoption by consumers and the integration of this technology into their daily lives.

In addition to the consumer-facing challenges, there is the inherent challenge of the medium itself. It’s new, and that means limited ad inventory options. Unlike traditional advertising channels that have established spaces for promotions, VR and AR aren’t completely there yet. As a result, suitable advertising real estate for brands may be difficult to find, making it harder to reach their desired audience during the early stages of adoption.

What’s next?

Augmented reality and virtual reality offer exciting opportunities for AdTech. Through immersive advertising experiences and innovative marketing campaigns, brands can connect with consumers in unprecedented ways. The fusion of technology and creativity has the potential to transform the advertising and marketing landscape, creating a seamless digital experience that captivates and engages users. As we move forward, it’s important for advertisers and marketers to embrace AR and VR and explore the possibilities they hold in shaping the future of AdTech.

Looking for solutions to measure VR and AR devices, apps or advertising campaigns? Connect with our experts.

A boy experiencing Semi-immersive VR